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The Cheltenham Show | Naps of...
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The Cheltenham Show | Naps of the Week

Jake O'Donnell
Jake O'Donnell

14:29 9 Mar 2020

Cheltenham 2020 is finally upon us and whether you're a seasoned veteran or simply hopping on the bandwagon for the week, Off The Ball has you covered with all the tips and story-lines you need for every day of the festival.

With thanks to Paddy Power, The Cheltenham Show is live from 9 am daily with tips and analysis from Thom Malone, John Duggan, Johnny Ward and Paddy himself.

First up on Monday, we asked Johnny, Thom, and John for their naps of the week (ie. the bets they have the most confidence in).

"It depends on whether you're very adventurous or more of a stable character," Johnny Ward of Friday Night Racing explained. "If you're something in between you might go for something else, but Solo, who is about 4/1 in the Triumph Hurdle."

Offering up a higher-priced option too, Ward pointed to Joseph O'Brien's Darasso in the Champion Hurdle.

"I've been roundly mocked at preview nights for putting forward this horse, 50/1 - 66/1. JP's [McManus] second string won the race last year. I could definitely see some historic repetition here.

"I do think this horse is underrated, he just has to improve on his couple of runs this season but Joseph O'Brien is sending him over and I think that's definitely something of a tip in itself. He's not going over there for the show.

"I think he does have a chance. He gave an awful lot of weight to Cilaos Emery at the Gowran the last day and, while Cilaos Emery beat him, he's had time to recover. He's a far bigger price.

"If you've people who wouldn't necessarily be big fans of betting on horse racing and would do it very sporadically, he's worth a fiver each way, I think anyway – it could pay for a holiday."

Meanwhile, John Duggan opted for favourite Benie Des Dieux in Tuesday’s Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle.

"Benie Des Dieux is a stone-cold certainty for me. Now, it did fall at the last hurdle last year when we were all saying that as well last year."

Lastly, Thom Malone highlighted the 8/1 The Conditional in Tuesday's Ultima Handicap Chase.

Admitting that the 24 runners race is a "ludicrously difficult handicap", Thom explained that The Conditional is a good price as a previous course and distance winner.

"For me, that's a really good value bet for a horse who had a wind operation.

"Someone like David Bridgewater, who doesn't have horses for the Supreme and the Arkle, this is this horse's Gold Cup, you have to bear that in mind."

You can watch the full Cheltenham Show here.

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